Alex’s Blog


I waited in the departure lounge at the Detroit Airport just two days before Christmas in 2000.  My flight to Nova Scotia to spend Christmas with my son Michael was delayed and quite possibly cancelled due to a major storm on the east coast.   With little to do while I waited, I began reading a book but quickly tired of the story.  I dozed on and off for a few minutes in the uncomfortable airport plastic chair.   I began to review my life as the crazy idea of writing a book myself drifted through my mind. I had been through several marriages and divorces and had lived almost everywhere from St John’s, Newfoundland to Los Angeles.  As a sober crow flies, that’s about as far as one can travel from east to west.  I scribbled place names on a blank page in the boring book; Iona, Halifax, Kingston, Cornwall…wait, I missed a couple of towns. And what about the times, I simply moved across town? I began my places-lived count over again. An hour later, as the Delta Airlines lady announced the newest departure time, I came up with a total count of thirty-three. Thirty-Three!  Since I left home at age 19, I had moved thirty-three times!

I’ve been a rolling stone. That’s the nature of the army and the radio business. It’s also the nature of marriage and divorce and marriage and divorce.  Evictions also count. Living in one’s car, does not. I’ve experienced all of them.   Through all of those moves, one place, one village, one rural route remained in my heart. Home.  Yes, I come now to Niagara Falls, where my wife and I live but one place will always live in my memory as “home.”  It’s where I grew up. It’s where my oldest friends still live.  A few days ago, I went home.  I returned this time, mostly by invitation, to Iona Parish where I grew up. Yes, after all these years, it’s still home.

I wasn’t sure how I would be received back home after the publication of my book. I imagined picket signs! However, I was touched by the heartwarming welcome and the many people who had already bought my book and just wanted it signed.  It was wonderful to see so many old friends, some of whom I have not seen in fifty years and to remember those dear friends, like Richard, James Andre and Howard who have passed on. They have moved to the ultimate home.

Also, thank you to everyone who braved a hurricane to come to Coles in Sydney from home, many with books in hand and to those who bought so many books that the store sold out.

Finally, thanks to Jay and Sheilah from the Eagle 103.5 for inviting me to be a part of the morning show. Word of mouth is the best advertising and promotion. I kept hearing the same phrase over and over. “I couldn’t out it down.” The best compliment of all came as a question from two retired school teachers, Anne and Florence in Halifax, but formerly from home, who asked, “where did you learn to write like that?”

I don’t know how I wrote as I did. I just told my stories, just like the old folks used to do when I was a young kid, back home.


6 thoughts on “Alex’s Blog

  1. hi Stan,just finished reading the book.very interesting as I know most of the Iona characters you write about. So glad you found your birth family, I am sure it gives you a great sense of completion.Wishing you much success with the book. Loved your photo gallery,great to see Howard’s face again. Murdock (M.J. Dan Roary from Red Point)

  2. Hi Stan, what a great read! I laughed and I cried my way through the book, a fascinating story that had to be told! A beautiful ending, I’m so glad for you and Martica. Brings back fond memories of Lemon Limited and the dances at MacKinnon Harbor Hall.

    Jimmie Gillis ( Neil John Roddie) from Jamesville West

  3. Jimmie, it so great to connect with you. Thank you for reading my story, and especially for your kind comments. We will be in CB for a quick visit from the 4th until the 8th. I hope our paths cross.

  4. Hi Stan..I,(Nancy MacLean),just finished reading your life story(ies} someone else said,I couldn’t put it down.You are a great writer..must have been all those terrific teachers/Sisters at Rankin Memorial.We were in high school together,you a year or so ahead of me,we were in a play ,directed by those same Sisters.
    I got to know and love your Mom,Tena when she lived at Alderwood..we shared several cups of tea,she insisted on making her own in the little kitchen near her room.And,she came out with me a few times ,probably to buy her own tea at the Co-op.She was dearly loved by everyone at Alderwood,and why not?..she was a gentle ,easy going lady.
    You probably don’t remember me..I was shy,probably seemed “stuck up’ ..Carmie MacLean and I hung around together.
    Happy that you and Martica found each other…

    All the best

    • Hi Nancy, thank you so very much for reading my book and your kind comments…but especially about my Mom Tena. She was indeed a sweet gentle lady. I was so far away, as far as California and I will never forget how it broke my heart to say goodbye to her when I would have to go back home to wherever I was living at the time. She would always insist on making “the tea” herself.
      Of course I remember you…and I vaguely remember the play.

      I didn’t perceive you as “stuck-up”. I do seem to remember riding on the back of someone’s pick-up truck with you to Washabuck one night after a dance. I think I walked you to your gate and said good night. I didn’t even hold your hand. It wasn’t only you that was shy. LOL.

      Thank you writing. It means a lot. All the best

      Thank you again Nancy.

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